Leave It To Psmith

I have little patience for slapstick and vulgur English humor, but savor the restrained clowniness of certain British actors. John Reid of D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, and Edward Petherbridge of the Dorothy L. Sayers Mystery Series inspired me as I recorded Chapter 4 of Leave It To Psmith by P. G. Wodehouse, Painful Scene At The Drones Club.

You can read the entire novel at Gutenberg.
The story, cover image, and recording are in the Public Domain.

Of Seneca’s Writings

When my son asked me to find and record something by the philospher Lucius Annaeus Seneca, I found his extant writings to be too interesting and specific to record just one; but this introductory article gave me a satisfying overview of his popular quotes from his books that are lost.

I had great fun untangling translator’s Sir Roger L’Estrange’s convoluted language, the way that I learned to with Shakespeare and poetry. I recorded his article true to his wording, and hoped that my phrasing illuminated the meaning for you. Let me know?

I was amused by the list of criticisms against Seneca, including his “tinkling” sentences; but even his critics commended him for his moralizing.

My favorite quick quotes from this article:
“They worship the images of the God…and yet…they have no regard at all to the workman that made it.”
“Philosophers… make me think of gallipots in an apothecary’s shop, that have remedies without and poison within.”
“There is no escaping from our keeper…There is no dividing us from ourselves…He that has a conscience gives evidence against himself.”
“Once in a year people may be allowed to be mad.”

The author of this article was the translator for the book titled, “Seneca’s Morals of a Happy Life, Benefits, Anger and Clemency”. This article was included in that book. You can find the entire book at Gutenberg.

The cover image, text, and recording are in the Public Domain.

Halloween


My audiobook recording published by LibriVox.org

Hallowe’en
by Virna Shear (Canadian poet)

There is an old Italian legend which says that on the eve of the beloved festival of All Saints (Hallowe’en) the souls of the dead return to earth for a little while and go by on the wind. The feast of All Saints is followed by the feast of the dead, when for a day only the sound of the Miserere is heard throughout the cities of Italy.

Hark! Hark to the wind! ‘Tis the night, they say,
When all souls come back from the far away—
The dead, forgotten this many a day!

And the dead remembered—ay! long and well—
And the little children whose spirits dwell
In God’s green garden of asphodel.

Have you reached the country of all content, 0 souls we know, since the day you went From this time-worn world, where your years were spent?

Would you come back to the sun and the rain,
The sweetness, the strife, the thing we call pain,
And then unravel life’s tangle again?

I lean to the dark—Hush!—was it a sigh?
Or the painted vine-leaves that rustled by?
Or only a night-bird’s echoing cry?

This poem and its cover image are in the Public Domain.

Indigenous Peoples Day

Losing the ability to use much of my brain off-and-on for the past several years was a blessing in disguise — when I’m thinking positively. I’m connecting more closely with what’s important to me, like being here with you.

You might recall my blog post about Thanksgiving Days. You’re finding me celebrating Columbus Day now as Indigenous Peoples Day and producing a chapter of an audiobook. You can find it at SoundCloud.

It’s a mini biography of Alice C. Fletcher from a collection at Project Gutenberg titled Heroines of Service by Mary Rosetta Parkman, and recorded for LibriVox.org. Miss Fletcher attempted to overpower the Europeans who were harrassing Indians away from valuable lands in the U.S.

What do you think of her solution? Do you know of any other ideas?

Image credits:
Portrait of Alice C. Fletcher from Popular Science Monthly Volume 43 via Wikimedia Commons. This work is in the public domain.